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At 10, Facebook strives to not be your granny's social network

Sharon Gaudin | Feb. 5, 2014
Facebook defines social networking but must fend off the next big thing, teen boredom

"There's this impression out there that Facebook is now your grandma's social network and isn't cool any more," said Dan Olds, an analyst with The Gabriel Consulting Group. "Youngsters and hipsters are supposedly fleeing the site for cooler pastures. But Facebook has well over a billion users and its size makes them the place where people still need to be if they want to have the maximum potential to be connected."

To stay relevant and useful, Facebook needs to continue its new focus of using large images, making it easier for users to post photo and videos to the site, and placing emphasis on local - local information and local deals.

The company also has to keep its wallet open to fend off or buy up the next big thing, much like it did when the company acquired Instagram.

"Facebook always need to contain the next big thing," said Moorhead. "Facebook bought Instagram to contend with Twitter's Vine videos. What about SnapChat? What will be the next big thing they have to deal with?"

If they can do all that, he adds that Facebook may still be the top social network in another 10 years.

Brian Blau, an analyst with Gartner, said Facebook may be able to remain the world's largest social network if it can bring people from underserved markets onto the site.

"If they could do that, they could very well be a much larger and more powerful company," said Blau said. "But even if that doesn't happen, or it takes longer than 10 years, I still think Facebook will grow during this period. They will continue to help connect people, and we will see them branch out into other types of businesses that can use social networking as a core part of their product or offering."


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